Builders View Market With Sense of Caution
Concerned about the uneasiness of consumers over impending war, an anemic economy, growing unemployment and bad weather, home builders surveyed earlier this month became less confident about their business prospects.
NAHB’s Housing Market Index (HMI), a monthly gauge of builder sentiment, fell to 52 for March, down 10 points from its February reading and the lowest level since November of 2001. The index dipped to 47 in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, but rallied steadily in subsequent months.
The survey asks builders to rate current sales of single-family homes, sales expectations for the next six months and their traffic of prospective buyers.